BY FORTUNE MBELE
Goalkeeper Ariel Sibanda (pictured) has committed to Highlanders and only a good offer from outside the country can persuade him to leave the Bulawayo giants.
NewsDay Sport has been informed that Sibanda, who turns 31 in a few week’s time, is on Norman Mapeza’s Chippa United radar and could land himself in the South African top league this year.
However, the Chilli Boys, who are also reportedly interested in the services of FC Platinum goalkeeper Wallace Magalane, are yet to approach Highlanders.
Sibanda still has a year to his contract with Highlanders and yesterday said his heart was still with Bosso, the only club he has played for in the top league locally.
“I am still a Highlanders player and I am still committed to playing for the club. I have not heard anything about any club that wants my services and Highlanders have not said anything to me as yet. I am with Highlanders and if I am to go anywhere, the club obviously has to get something,” Sibanda said.
Highlanders spokesperson Ronald Moyo yesterday confirmed the Warriors goal minder still has one more year at Highlanders and the club has not had any offers for the veteran shot-stopper.
However, a source has said Highlanders are aware Sibanda is wanted by Mapeza and if he is to leave, the Bulawayo giants’ eyes would shift to Magalane.
At the moment, any inward transfers have been frozen as the club awaits to bring in Mark Harrison as the head coach.
The Bulawayo giants are likely to lose striker Prince Dube to a yet to be named club in China where he went last month together with Triangle’s Delic Murimba.
The two’s handlers Joe Smart Sports and Events Management confirmed the duo’s status on their website last Thursday, saying Murimba had missed out on a chance for trial in Europe.
“It has recently been a sad story for Delic when he once again couldn’t beat the visa application deadline to attend trials at Kups ( in Finland) as was the case when he couldn’t get Schengen visa to trial in Sweden in summer of 2019. However, this could turn out to be a blessing in disguise if everything goes according to the revised recent agreements we negotiated with the Chinese side Heilongjiang Lava Spring FC,”
Heilongjiang said Murimba will trial for a development player slot.
“This is different from Prince Dube’s situation at a different club as the coaching staff won’t be meticulous in making recommendations as to sign him or not. Prince on the (yet to be disclosed club) would be expected to spearhead the club’s attack in the coming season if all goes well,” a statement on Joe Smart’s website read.
Outgoing Highlanders coach Hendrikus Pieter de Jongh had recommended that Highlanders pursue veteran strikers Obadiah Tarumbwa and Ralph Matema for this year, but with the Dutchman gone everything has stalled.
Highlanders had targeted bringing on board Bulawayo Chiefs goalkeeper David Bizabani, striker Farau Matare and defender Malvin Mkolo, with Brendon Mpofu also in their radar, but that will all be subject to Harrison’s approval.